One of America's most admired living poets revisits the poetry of Poe, exploring the philosophical seriousness of verse often identified with its macabre and gothic surfaces. Here is the whole canon of Poe's mature poetry, along with a judicious selection of prose writings that illuminate Poe's poetic goals.
"Our poetry, in Poe's view, must specialize in aesthetic transcendence, eschewing the truth, morality, and passion which might entangle it with this present world. The whole movement of Poe's poetry is away from the material here and now. . . . The poet's strategy is to accomplish a mock-destruction of earthly things, estranging the reader from material reality and so, presumably, propelling his imagination toward the ideal." -- Richard Wilbur, from the introduction